Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Special Olympics’ Polar Bear Plunge A Week Away, by Madison Norris

La Crosse is hosting the Special Olympics of Wisconsin’s Polar Plunge again this year at Pettibone Beach, March 1.

The Polar Plunge is a popular fundraiser where people jump into winter water in support of Special Olympic athletes. Plungers consist of individuals or teams of friends, families, local businesses, students, etc., all with donations and pledges.

According to the city of La Crosse’s website, last year there were 1,284 plungers, and over $190,000 was raised from the participants of the La Crosse Polar Plunge.

“I love jumping in the Polar Plunge because it is for a really great cause that does neat things for disabled athletes. I know that my impact is small, but when I see the smiles and hear the success stories it makes it all worth it!” says UWL sophomore and three time plunger, Mikaela Sullivan.

Those interested can register online as an individual plunger or team. Each individual must raise a minimum of $75 in order to take the plunge on March 1. Donations can be made online. Cash and check donations can be turned in at the event check-in.

There is no registration deadline. As long as plungers raise $75 by the event check-in, individuals may participate.

For $75 raised, the participant will earn a long sleeve “freezin’ for a reason” t-shirt. There are four additional prize packages plungers can earn by raising more money. Visit the Polar Bear Plunge website for more information on the additional prizes. 

There is a “too chicken to plunge” or a 5K walk/run option for those wanting to fundraise, but not interested in jumping into the icy water.

Awards will be given out the day of the event in the following categories: top plunge fundraiser, top “too chicken to plunge” fundraiser, top 5K fundraiser, best plunge costume and most memorable group plunge.

Questions and comments can be addressed to, Kelly Gloede, the Coulee Region event contact, at or 608-789-7596.